Comment author:Doug_S.
11 January 2008 01:56:37AM
4 points
[-]

I think Eliezer's "infinite set atheism" is a belief that infinite sets, although well-defined mathematically, do not exist in the "real world"; in other words, that any physical phenomenon that actually occurs can be described using a finite number of bits. (This can include numbers with infinite decimal expansions, as long as they can be generated by a finitely long computer program. Therefore, using pi in equations is not prohibited, because you're using the symbol "pi" to represent the program, which is finite.)

A consequence of "infinite set atheism" seems to be that the universe is a finite state machine (although one that is not necessarily deterministic). Am I understanding this properly?

## Comments (128)

OldI think Eliezer's "infinite set atheism" is a belief that infinite sets, although well-defined mathematically, do not exist in the "real world"; in other words, that any physical phenomenon that actually occurs can be described using a finite number of bits. (This can include numbers with infinite decimal expansions, as long as they can be generated by a finitely long computer program. Therefore, using pi in equations is not prohibited, because you're using the symbol "pi" to represent the program, which is finite.)

A consequence of "infinite set atheism" seems to be that the universe is a finite state machine (although one that is not necessarily deterministic). Am I understanding this properly?